Nine Dollarama stores in Quebec hit with workplace safety fines over health rule violations
MONTREAL -- Nine Dollarama stores have been ticketed by Quebec's workplace safety board (CNESST) for non-compliance with public health rules.
The establishments are located in Quebec City, Gaspésie, Yamaska, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Saguenay and Valleyfield regions.
In total, 11 tickets were distributed, the CNESST said in a statement on Thursday evening.
The organization didn't detail the breaches committed or the amount of the fines. The fines can vary between $1,752 and $3,502. In the event of a repeat offense, the sum can go up to $14,000.
Since March 13, CNESST inspectors have visited 68 Dollarama stores. These visits led to 124 requests to correct a problematic situation.
The company denies it has been in the wrong, however, saying that since the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 protocols have been implemented and are regularly reviewed with employees.
"We are very surprised and very disappointed to be targeted in this way, especially in a context where we are in regular communication with the CNESST and that at no time, in recent weeks, have these concerns and even the existence of these tickets been brought to our attention," Dollarama spokesperson Lyla Radmanovich said by email.
The company, which operates more than 360 stores in Quebec and employs more than 5,000 people, said it wants to talk to the management of the CNESST and to the province's Minister of Labour to discuss their concerns.
In the field, the CNESST ensures that workplaces have put in place and apply the preventive measures required to protect the health and safety of employees.
In New Brunswick, that province's public health officials have ordered the closure of nine stores in the Dollarama chain for 48 hours due to possible exposure to COVID-19.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2020.